Marysville News

Devine elected school board president

By

The Marysville Board of Education chose a new president for the new year, electing Sue Devine to the post at the school board's Jan. 6 organizational meeting.

Devine and Amy Powers are the only two returning members on the five-member board. New board members include Brian Luke, Ed Pleasant and Dick Smith. Pleasant was elected vice president, and Smith will act as secretary if the district treasurer is absent and unable to take meeting minutes.

Tracy Greer and Doug Lassiter stepped down from the board after serving four years each. Former board president Jeff Mabee lost his seat to Luke by a slim margin in the November election. Mabee served on the board for eight years, six of those as president.

Devine thanked her colleagues for voting her into the top post.

"Thank you for your support of me, and I'll do my best," she said.

The board also welcomed the district's new treasurer, Todd Johnson. Johnson replaced Cindy Ritter, who retired Dec. 31. Johnson was most recently the assistant treasurer for Olentangy Local School District in Delaware County.

"This is my third official day, so I'm still getting settled in. Definitely exciting to be here, and I think I'm in the right place," Johnson said.

In other organizational matters, the board set compensation for members at $125 a meeting, the same rate as last year.

Also, members voted to keep the board service fund at $7,500, a figure that has held steady since 1997. The fund pays for items such as training, which Luke, Pleasant and Smith will attend Jan. 18-19 in Columbus. The Ohio School Boards Association New Board Member Academy helps newly elected members become familiar with board policies, Ohio public school funding, transportation, policy and employee relations issues, the Sunshine Law and executive sessions.

Committee assignments also were handed out:

* Devine will sit on the Business Advisory Council and the finance/ audit, district goal review and negotiations committees.

* Luke will sit on the Athletic/ Extra-Curricular Council and the board policy and technology committees.

* Pleasant will sit on the Superintendent's Advisory Council and the district goal review, facilities planning and negotiations committees.

* Powers will serve on the Superintendent's Advisory Council and tax abatement committee.

* Smith will serve as the OSBA legislative liaison and on the board policy, facilities planning and finance/ audit committees.

Members talked about the year ahead of a board with so many new faces.

"It's a humbling experience to be on this board. We've got a lot of things coming before us. I'm excited about the opportunities ahead of us, and I see great things in the next several years," Smith said.

"With three of us being new and the new treasurer, some styles and some things are going to change. I think it will be a challenge for us to start anew. I expect good things," said Pleasant.

"I'm very glad to be here. I've had a lot of comments from people since the election, and it makes me realize what a responsibility this really is and I plan to focus a lot on the training this year," Luke said.

"I'm excited. I think we have a great working team and we can't go anywhere but upward. It's just fun to be a part of it all," Powers said.

Superintendent Diane Mankins welcomed the new members and mentioned the new $12.4 million Marysville Early College High School and Union County Innovation Center, funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education's Straight A Fund. Ohio's first manufacturing-related early college high school will focus on the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- and will be housed in the old middle school at 833 N. Maple St. The building will undergo extensive renovations before opening for the 2014-15 school year.

"From this point forward, Marysville schools is going to look significantly different. The way we're used to things being are going to be different and exciting -- a good different," Mankins said.

Comments